Muncy eliminated by two-point conversion

CHRIS DOWNS/For The Sun-Gazette Wyalusing running back Creighton Edsell (10) is taken to the ground by Muncy’s Michael Kustanbauter (27) and Dylan Wilt (2) during the first half Friday night at Muncy.

MUNCY – With Will Martin sliding his hands under a two-point toss from quarterback Shane Fuhrey with 36 seconds left in Friday night’s District 4 Class A semifinal clash between Wyalusing and Muncy at Stanley Schuyler Stadium’s Scott McLean Field, the visiting Rams ended the Indians’ quest for a championship repeat by pulling out a 22-21 victory.

In a game that was 7-0 in Muncy’s favor at halftime, the two teams found their respective offensive grooves, combining for 30 points in the final quarter. The eventual difference in the game was a pair of two-point connections between Fuhrey (13 of 24, 112 yards) and Martin (6 catches, 43 yards). The latter completion capped a 43-yard, 3:40-march to victory, highlighted by a pair of fourth-down conversions and a 1-yard burst into the end zone by senior running back Creighton Edsell (31 carries, 125 yards).

“We knew Wyalusing was a very physical and aggressive team, and we were going to have our hands full,” said Muncy coach Sean Tetreault. “Their record is very deceiving and we knew they were a good football team. Look at what we did last year, going 4-6 and we won (the district). Tonight, they made more plays than we did tonight and their front eight played a great game.”

Both offenses pounded the opposition’s defense for three quarters and the physical battle took its toll in the fourth quarter. Top-seeded Muncy (7-4) held a 7-6 lead into the final period and proceeded to extend is lead with an 84-yard scoring drive that began with 3:26 to play in the third quarter. The drive ended with a Coleman Good throwing a touchdown pass to Dylan Wilt from seven yards out at the 10:43 mark.

On the ensuing kickoff, Martin set up the Rams with a 40-yard return to midfield. From there, Wyalusing (4-7), the No. 4 seeds in this year’s playoffs, charged down field for the game-tying tally. Fuhrey accounted for the six points, as the sophomore signal caller sprinted into the end zone from seven yards out with 7:05 left in the game. On the next offensive snap, he found Martin for two, tying the game at 14-14.

“We knew Muncy was a big, physical football team, and all year long we have struggled with our offensive line play,” said Wyalusing coach Jordan Clark. “We really challenged our linemen to step up and rise to the occasion. We decided to go right at (Muncy) and pound the ball at them. We mixed some passing in and I think our game plan worked well.”

Clark was well aware of what the Indians would attack with, and he liked his team’s chances. Even after junior linebacker Brandon Dake dropped what looked to be a sure interception, and Muncy turning the reprieve into a 21-14 lead with 4:19 to go, the Rams coach had a feeling good things were yet to come.

“Our kids played hard, and we went punch-for-punch with them,” Clark said. “Muncy ran the ball right at us, but we did not back down and didn’t get tired at the end of game. I think it was two really good football teams, running similar styles and it came down to making plays.

“Our last three games have been against three quality teams (Towanda, Wellsboro and Athens) and we were prepared for this game because those games gave us a wake-up call,” Clark said. “We haven’t gotten good bounces all year long, and after we dropped that interception, I thought ‘here we go again,’ be our kids responded well.”

The last-minute loss was the second in as many weeks for the Indians, who dropped their regular-season finale to rival Hughesville, 35-29. Despite the Spartans’ loss and the postseason coming to an abrupt end, senior running back Colby Alpaugh said coming into this game he and his teammates were focused.

“Losing to Hughesville put a lot of fire in us and we came into this game hungry for a win,” said Alpaugh, who plans to continue his football career with the sprint program Mansfield University. “We tried our hardest, and came together as a team, which makes this loss really hurt.”

Alpaugh finished with 52 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, while Good, the Indians’ junior quarterback, was the top offensive threat, racking up 100 yards on the ground with just 11 carries before leaving the game late with an ankle sprain.

“The seniors mean the world to me,” said Tetreault. “They came in as sophomores when I started here and set the tone the entire season. They go out leaving a great legacy.”

Wyalusing advances to play the Montgomery Red Raiders next week in the District 4 Class A final.